The annual jazz festival has a new title sponsor starting in the new year, TD Bank Financial Group, replacing Groove FM.
Jarrett: emotional effort
The 2010 TD Winnipeg International Jazz Festival will run June 25 to July 4.
TD has sponsored Jazz Labs (a series of workshops), Jazz on Wheels and green initiatives since 2003 and Jazz Winnipeg executive producer Paul Nolin calls the title sponsorship "a huge step for Jazz Winnipeg."
The value of the sponsorship is not being released and spans five years through 2014.
TD becomes presenting sponsor of the Montreal International Jazz Festival next year as well, and adds Victoria to a list of sponsorships that includes the Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax jazz festivals.
Groove FM held the sponsorship since 1994 (starting when the station was Cool FM, under the Canwest umbrella, before being bought by Corus).
Pianist Keith Jarrett has spent decades reinventing the solo jazz concert -- with every solo performance and recording he makes.
In a genre in which improvisation is king, Jarrett wears the crown. His solo concerts don't include improvisation; they are, simply, improvisation.
The pianist's latest solo set, the three-disc Testament, Paris/London (ECM) is close to three hours of stream of consciousness with touches of classical, jazz and gospel recorded at Salle Pleyel, Paris, and Royal Festival Hall, London, in late 2008.
The pieces here, simply numbered, are relatively short (from four to 14 minutes) compared to some of his marathon solos of the past.
Jarrett, in the liner notes (unusual for ECM), describes the concert tour as cathartic after his wife of 30 years left him. He recounts leaving the stage in tears.
He has a close rapport with his audiences, and the smaller blocks of music are clearly long enough to convey his love for, and his emotional effort and commitment to, spontaneously composed music.
While both concerts begin in dark musical territory, the Paris show swings to freer spaces, and London is more emotional. The French audience on disc 1 gets some Parisian jazz ambience; the Londoners on discs 2 and 3 get more frenetic playing.
Jarrett confirms his role as a solo performer extraordinaire on these stellar recordings.
The U of W Downtown Vocal Jazz Group and Downtown Jazz Band will hold a joint concert Sunday, Dec. 6, 7 p.m., in the university's Eckhart-Gramatté Hall.
The University of Winnipeg doesn't have a music program so the choirs and big band are mostly arts and science students who sing or play an instrument simply for pleasure. But there are non-university members as well, says Helen White, director of the choirs, whose repertoire runs from mostly jazz standards to pop tunes.
Tickets are $10 at the door or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The big band is looking for players, director Rob Hrabluk says. Current U of W students are first choice, but it is not limited to university-age students. There is no audition process and musicians should have a strong desire to play, he said, adding some recent experience is an asset. Contact Hrabluk at email@example.com
Local jazz magazine dig! is holding an old-fashioned rent party as a fundraiser as it enters its sixth year of publication.
The magazine, which features music listings, interviews and features, is published by Jazz Winnipeg and edited by Steve Kirby, director of jazz studies at the University of Manitoba's faculty of music.
The magazine is available six times a year at coffee shops and book stores for no charge. The rent party is at the Park Theatre, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 6. Tickets are $20, available through Jazz Winnipeg and McNally Robinson Booksellers, or at the door.
Performers include U of M jazz studies faculty members bassist Steve Kirby, vocalist Anna-Lisa Kirby, guitarist Larry Roy, saxophonist Jimmy Greene and pianist George Colligan.